Arctic Council Taking Regional Development Reins

International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)
Monday, June 10, 2013
Arctic Summer Ice: Photo courtesy of NOAA

What was once a small group meeting to discuss scientific & technical cooperation has grown into a forum in which legally binding agreements between states are brokered.

In the 16 years since the creation of the Arctic Council, both the physical environment of the Arctic and the level of international attention paid to this once-obscure forum have changed dramatically. At the Council's latest meeting in mid-May, in Kiruna, Sweden, ministers added new international observers, bolstered the Council's governance capacity and agreed on a common vision for the next 16 years, notes the IISS in a recent report.

For the second time, the biennial meeting attracted the participation of all Arctic foreign ministers – with the exception of Canada. Its delegation was led instead by Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, who, as an Inuk, becomes the first indigenous person to chair the Council – Canada assumed the chair from Sweden at the end of the Kiruna meeting.

Ministers attending the meeting, including United States Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, signed a legally binding agreement on oil-spill prevention and response – the second such agreement brokered by the Council, after the 2011 Arctic Search and Rescue Agreement – and the ‘Kiruna Declaration’ , which aims to improve economic and social conditions, mitigate the impact of climate change, protect the Arctic environment and strengthen the Arctic Council.

Climate change is affecting the Arctic more than any other area of the Earth. Temperatures there are increasing at twice the global average. The scale of Arctic sea ice loss has been more dramatic than most climate scientists had anticipated, with the ice cap shrinking and thinning annually to around half of the volume recorded in 1979 when measurements began. Industries such as mining, shipping, oil and gas, fishing and tourism, are looking to take advantage of melting sea ice to expand into this previously inaccessible corner of the world.

The Kiruna meeting marked a further step in the Arctic Council’s development into a regional intergovernmental body that cooperatively addresses a broad range of issues arising amid significant environmental, economic and geopolitical change. With its expanded capacities and remit, and the heightened interest of the international community and industry in the Arctic, the Council’s role as a force for regional stability will continue to grow.

According to the IISS, with the Councili's expanded capacities and remit, and the heightened interest of the international community and industry in the Arctic, the Council’s role as a force for regional stability will continue to grow.

Source: International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)
 

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

WFW Advises ING Bank on $340m Loan Facility for Euronav

Watson, Farley & Williams (WFW) has advised ING Bank N.V. (ING) as sole bookrunner and facility agent for a syndicate of banks on a $340 million loan facility made available to Euronav NV.

UN Authorizes Ship Inspections Near Somalia For Arms, Charcoal

The United Nations Security Council authorized the inspection of boats suspected of carrying illegal shipments of charcoal or weapons to and from Somalia on Friday,

Foster Wheeler & MDM Engineering Merged

Foster Wheeler AG announced today that an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of the Company has completed the acquisition of MDM Engineering Group Limited (“MDM”)

Government Update

MARAD Seeks Comments on Proposed Policy for Deepwater Export Applications

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) is seeking comments on the agency’s proposed policy to accept, evaluate and process license applications for the construction

Oil Drillers Group to Fight U.S. Export Ban

More than a dozen U.S. oil producers have joined to lobby the federal government to reverse the 40-year-old ban on U.S. crude exports, a move that supporters hope

UN: Ship Inspections near Somalia for Arms, Charcoal

The United Nations Security Council authorized the inspection of boats suspected of carrying illegal shipments of charcoal or weapons to and from Somalia on Friday,

Arctic Operations

Rederij Groen Takes Delivery of 7-Waves

Rederij Groen’s entire SRSV fleet built by Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam. Dutch offshore services company Rederij Groen has taken delivery of the 7-Waves,

New Oil Field Found in British North Sea

GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd and BP today announced a new exploration discovery in the UK Central North Sea. The discovery, which spans GDF SUEZ operated block 30/1f

MEPC Makes Progress on Energy Efficiency, Emissions

The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) met for its 67th session from October 13-17, 2014, at IMO Headquarters in London.

Offshore Energy

New Oil Field Found in British North Sea

GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd and BP today announced a new exploration discovery in the UK Central North Sea. The discovery, which spans GDF SUEZ operated block 30/1f

A History of U.S. Oil Export Controls

On Oct. 20, 1973, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia imposed a total embargo on oil shipments to the United States among other countries in response to their support for Israel during the Arab-Israeli war.

Three Dead in Offshore Platform Accident

Three workers were killed and one is still missing after an accident at one of the offshore oil and gas platforms in the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan, Azeri state energy company SOCAR said on Thursday.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1738 sec (6 req/sec)